Damages is an American legal thriller television series created by writing and production trio Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler, and Todd A. Kessler. It premiered on July 24, 2007 on FX and aired for three seasons before moving to the DirecTV channel Audience Network in 2010, airing for two further seasons and concluding in 2012.
The plot revolves around the brilliant, ruthless lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and her newest protégée, recent law school graduate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). Each season features a major case that Hewes and her firm take on while also examining a chapter of the complex relationship between Ellen and Patty. The first two seasons center on the law firm Hewes & Associates in New York City, while later seasons center more on Patty and Ellen's relationship as Ellen attempts to distance herself from Hewes & Associates professionally and personally.
The series is known for its depiction of season-long cases from the point of view of both a law firm and an opponent. It is also noted for the technical merit of its writing, including its effective use of plot twists and non-linear narrative. It has received critical acclaim and various award nominations, with Close and Željko Ivanek winning Primetime Emmy Awards for their performances. Other established actors in the cast include Ted Danson, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Timothy Olyphant, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, John Goodman, Ryan Phillippe, Dylan Baker, Janet McTeer, and John Hannah.
|Created by||Todd A. Kessler|
Marcia Gay Harden
|Opening theme||"When I Am Through with You" by The VLA|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||59 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Todd A. Kessler|
|Production location(s)||New York City|
|Running time||40–60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||KZK Productions|
Sony Pictures Television
Gotham Music Placement
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original network||FX (2007–10)|
Audience Network (2011–12)
|Picture format||480i, 576i (TV)|
720p (FX HD; BBC HD; AXN HD)
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD, HDTV)|
Dolby TrueHD (Blu-ray)
Stereo Surround (TV)
|Original release||July 24, 2007 –|
September 12, 2012
Creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman developed the series as centering on the relationship between a mentor and a protégée: two women in powerful positions. Although the initial story idea did not have the series set in the legal arena, the creators felt the legal world included women who commanded power and influence. The concept was inspired by the creators' interactions with their superiors and with their experiences in the entertainment industry. Todd Kessler addressed how he views gender as playing into the series' narrative saying, “I don’t think we look at the story as, this is a great female story... We see the Patty-Ellen relationship as a universal one between anyone who has had a boss and goes into a job thinking that success is working hard and doing what the boss asks and realizing that it’s only a small percentage of it.” The setting veers away from typical legal dramas, whose storylines are often set inside courtrooms, and instead it describes the characters' lives and interactions outside the courtroom, thereby focusing on the behind-the-scenes power maneuvering and manipulation. Concerning the characters Zelman notes, "We don't look at any of the characters as good or bad or anything like that. What really motivated us to write about this world, first and foremost, was our interest in power dynamics, the dynamics of power in society."
Each season, established lawyer Patty Hewes takes one major case. But seasons often simultaneously deal with other minor cases and later seasons focus more on Ellen's cases rather than Patty's.
Season 1 focuses on a class action lawsuit against the fraudulent multi-billionaire CEO of a defunct company; the plot was inspired by various corporate scandals and characters involved in them, most notably the 2001 Enron scandal. Season 2 deals with the energy industry and related environmental issues; the story is influenced by recent and ongoing environmental cases in the United States in the mining industry and by the events of the 2001 California energy crisis. The writers were guided by environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who shared his experience in the field with various corporations and CEOs. Season 3 is largely based on the 2009 Bernie Madoff scandal. Season 4 describes events based on the Blackwater Security Consulting scandal.
The series uses nonlinear narrative, employing flashforwards, foreshadowing, and red herring narration techniques. This approach has given the writers flexibility in storytelling. The narrative handles multiple plot lines and has loose ends. Zelman explains, "We know where we’re going. We have tent-pole moments that we’re building to all the way through to the end, and it’s very clear to us where we want to end up. [However], we want to leave room for improvisation..." While the two different time-frames format was initially intended for the first season, in preparation for the second season the producers felt that the nonlinear format had become a signature of the series and decided to continue it for the second season. With the serialized format of the show decreasing the viewership, Todd Kessler contended that the second season would contain stand-alone storylines to make the show more accessible.
When creators Kesslers and Zelman pitched the show to executives at FX, network president John Landgraf suggested they consider Glenn Close for the main character Patty Hewes. Close had earlier worked on FX's The Shield and had conveyed to the network officials her interest in being cast as a lead in another show, so long as the show was set in New York City. After a three-hour meeting with the creators, Close accepted the role, impressed particularly by the powerful persona of the character "as the head of her own law firm [...] in a male-dominated world". Describing her character, Close said, “Patty is a complicated character... She’s not somebody who you can easily characterize. People tend to say she’s manipulative and evil, which always makes me laugh, because I think women and power are still problematic, especially in this country. I take that as a compliment.” In preparation for the role, Close met with several female attorneys in New York, including Mary Jo White, Lorna Schofield, and Patricia Hynes.
The creators cast Ted Danson for the part of Arthur Frobisher, a corrupt billionaire CEO, because of his role in The Onion Field (1979). Danson was attracted to the project immediately after learning that Close would be playing the lead role. As part of his preparation, Danson studied the collapse of Enron by watching documentaries such as The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) and meeting CEOs of various Fortune 500 corporations. The producers also suggested that Danson consult Close's acting coach Harold Guskin. Danson was initially hesitant about this suggestion, but found the consultation extremely helpful.
Series cast members Rose Byrne and Tate Donovan, portraying Ellen Parsons and Tom Shayes respectively, secured their parts through auditions. Byrne had been unavailable when she was initially approached because she was shooting the film 28 Weeks Later but auditioned later when the part had not yet been cast. Both Byrne and Donovan prepared for their roles by consulting lawyers and attending court trials. According to producers, the characters of Ellen's fiancé David Connor and his sister Katie were the hardest to cast.
For the first season cast, Noah Bean, who was cast as David, said he "gave an awful first audition" but managed to get the part when given a second chance while waiting for an elevator. When British actor Anastasia Griffith auditioned for the part of Katie Connor, the producers were hesitant to have a British actor play an American, especially since they already had an Australian (Byrne) playing an American. However, Griffith convinced the producers by speaking in an American accent throughout their follow-up meeting. At the time of casting, Griffith's role was intended only for three episodes, but it was extended after the producers realized the character's success. Željko Ivanek scored the initially very minor role of Ray Fiske through an audition, but as producers watched Ivanek's work in the dailies, they beefed up the role considerably.
For the second season cast, Marcia Gay Harden was, according to producer Josh Payne, a "no-brainer" for the role of Claire Maddox. They wanted an actress who could hold her own against Close. Harden's casting was also attributable, in part, to the fact that she lived in New York City where Damages shoots. William Hurt and Timothy Olyphant were cast late in the process. The producers debated whether they should go with one actor who created a love triangle involving Patty and Ellen, but they ultimately went with the two separate actors.
For the third season cast, Lily Tomlin's casting evolved out of her fandom for the show. At an art exhibit she bumped into Damages creator/executive producer Todd A. Kessler and interrogated him for information about upcoming twists on the show. Todd kept her in mind and later cast her as Marilyn Tobin. Dominic Chianese was also cast because of his past relationship with Kessler, as the two worked together on The Sopranos. Martin Short was the last major actor to be cast that season; he too was a Damages fan. Producers were excited to work with Short, though he had very little dramatic work to refer to; he added to the Damages reputation of casting against-type.
For the fourth season cast, producers initially considered actors like Edward Burns and Wentworth Miller for the role of Howard T. Erickson, because they were closer in age/physique to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater whom the season was based on. John Goodman stressed his availability, and the role was tailored to suit his style. Zelman saw Dylan Baker on stage years ago when Daniel was an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. His performance left an impression, and producers had thought about casting him several times before, but the timing didn’t work out until Season 4, when he was cast as Jerry Boorman. Chris Messina at his first casting call, refused to play a Republican or a lawyer on the show, because he was repeatedly cast in such roles beforehand. He was awarded the role of PTSD-plagued Chris Sanchez and underwent considerable preparation for the role. He would "stay awake and not sleep...and right before action...drink two Red Bulls". He was also reluctant to join a show so late in its run. The role of Bill Herndon was, as with Ray Fiske or Katie Connor's, conceived as a very minor part but was significantly increased after Judd Hirsch made a good impression.
For the fifth season cast, Ryan Phillippe initially wasn't overly interested in doing Damages, but on a phone call with producers he changed his mind after being told his character was modeled after Julian Assange, with whom Phillippe was fascinated. Jenna Elfman followed in the steps of other well-known comic actors by playing against-type on Damages as Naomi Walling, the victim in a lawsuit. She enthusiastically signed on for the opportunity to "play the types of scenes I haven't yet had the opportunity to play". Janet McTeer became close friends with Glenn Close while working on the film Albert Nobbs (2011), and Close worked with producers to offer her a key role as Kate Franklin, a recent empty nester returning to law.
The title sequence, set to the song "When I Am Through with You" by The VLA, depicts images of New York City public sculpture, including The Glory of Commerce atop Grand Central Terminal, Civic Fame atop the Manhattan Municipal Building, and Asia in front of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. The frieze of the New York County Courthouse is also shown, inscribed with a quote from George Washington, "The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government".
A young woman, Ellen Parsons, is found running through the streets half-naked and covered in blood. During the ensuing police investigation her fiancé, David, is found in the couple's apartment, bludgeoned to death, and Ellen is arrested.
Six months earlier, Ellen, a newly minted lawyer, is being courted for prestigious jobs. She turns down an offer to work with the defense attorney Hollis Nye (Philip Bosco). Ultimately, she chooses a job at Hewes & Associates, headed by notorious lawyer Patty Hewes. When Nye finds out about this, he warns Ellen of the dangers of working for Patty and asks her to sign his business card. Ellen later notices he wrote, "I was warned", above her signature.
Ellen becomes engrossed in a major case that Hewes & Associates is pursuing. Patty has been retained in a class action lawsuit by the former employees of billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson). In a case reminiscent of the Enron scandal, Frobisher is accused of insider trading and lying to his employees about his company's health even as he unloaded hundreds of millions of his own stock, depriving his employees of their retirement funds and benefits. Early in the season, Patty shows she is willing to go to extreme, unethical, and illegal lengths to win her case. As the season progresses, Ellen becomes increasingly involved in the case and in Patty's tradecraft.
Ellen deduces that one reason she was hired was her personal connection to the case; her fiancé's sister turns out to be an important witness. Much of the season, Ellen skirts the edges of unethical behavior, and she eventually crosses that line. As Ellen becomes increasingly devoted to the case, her relationship with her fiancé, David, becomes strained. The situation worsens when Patty betrays his sister. Eventually Ellen and David tire of Patty, and Ellen publicly leaves Hewes & Associates. Nevertheless, she maintains an interest in the case and soon becomes personally and professionally embroiled in it again.
Throughout the first season, the series plays with time. Instead of unfolding in the present and showing flashbacks of the past, the main narrative unfolds several months in the past and is interspersed with flashes of events that are taking place in the present. These flashes gradually reveal that Ellen's fiancé David has been murdered and that Ellen, while staying at Patty's apartment, appears to have been attacked.
By the finale of the first season, the past-tense main narrative of the show has caught up with the flashes of the present, and most of the questions raised by those flashes have been resolved. The murder charges against Ellen are dropped. The identities of David's murderer and Ellen's attacker are revealed to the audience, and the Frobisher case is resolved: Frobisher gives two billion dollars of his personal fortune to the employees, in exchange for a guarantee that no criminal charges will be filed against him. He is later shot and left for dead by a former employee whom he had double-crossed earlier by manipulating him for information.
Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, and Tate Donovan returned as regulars. Season 1 recurring star Anastasia Griffith became a regular and season 1 regular Ted Danson returned for five episodes. William Hurt, Timothy Olyphant and Marcia Gay Harden joined the regular cast. John Doman guest starred.
Once naive young attorney Ellen Parsons talks to an unknown person off-screen. Suddenly, she pulls out a gun and pulls the trigger twice.
Six months earlier, an old acquaintance of Patty's, scientist Daniel Purcell (William Hurt), convinces Patty to take a case involving a conspiracy between Purcell's scientific firm and a huge energy corporation, Ultima National Resources (UNR). Patty's initial refusal to assist Purcell is understood better when it is revealed that Purcell is the father of Patty's son, Michael, a relationship she abused to win a case during Michael's childhood. Currently, Purcell is having an affair with Patty's opponent in the courtroom Claire Maddox (Marcia Gay Harden), the attorney of UNR's CEO. On a similar note, a partner in UNR, Dave Pell (Clarke Peters), conspires with Patty's husband Phil against her while Phil is also having an extramarital affair. When Phil's affair is leaked to the press anonymously (found to be by Patty), Patty kicks him out of their apartment. Ellen, still believing Patty had tried to have her killed, deals with her past by attending group grief counseling and working with the FBI to bring Patty down. Patty's partner Tom Shayes, whose wife is pregnant with a son, continues to be in the dark on certain issues regarding cases. Eventually, Ellen uses Tom to further the FBI investigation, causing him to get fired in the process.
Similar to the first season, the majority of the narrative is past tense, with glimpses of the present. This season gradually reveals it is Patty Ellen had at gunpoint, attempting to force the truth out of her. Several minutes after Ellen fires the gun, Patty is found bleeding in the elevator.
In the season finale, Ellen convinces Patty to bribe the judge to accept evidence that would otherwise be inadmissible, in a setup to incriminate Patty. At the same time, Patty makes a deal with Pell to call off the FBI and hand over the data proving UNR is using toxic chemicals. In return, Patty will drop the energy trading angle of the case. She also sets up Ellen to take the fall for bribing the judge. Ellen, meanwhile, procures a handgun. After destroying the FBI cameras in the room by shooting them, Ellen confronts Patty about her actions from season one, leaving to bribe the judge after Patty confesses that she was responsible for the attempted murder of Ellen. Soon thereafter, Patty is found in the elevator, bleeding. Here, it is revealed Patty was stabbed by Fin Garrity before her confrontation with Ellen. When Ellen bribes the judge, her FBI handler arrests her and the judge. As they leave, Federal Marshals arrest the corrupt agent Ellen was assisting, freeing Ellen.
One month later, Patty is recovering at home, Tom is returning to Patty's firm, and Ellen has a new job offer. Patty says Ellen will return.
Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, and Tate Donovan returned as regulars for the third season. Season 1 regular Ted Danson returned for five episodes. Martin Short and Campbell Scott joined the cast. Lily Tomlin and Keith Carradine special guest starred.
Patty is the victim of a car crash. The other car belongs to Tom Shayes, who is found dead in a dumpster. Ellen is implicated in Tom's murder because her blood-stained purse is found in the hands of a homeless man near the dumpster. When a detective questions Ellen, they discuss what the homeless man said, and the detective asks whether Ellen and Tom were romantically involved. Ellen replies, "We were starting a law firm together".
Six months earlier, Patty Hewes is tackling a new case. Appointed a trustee by the US government, she is tasked to recover billions of dollars lost to the largest investment fraud in Wall Street history: a fraudulent Ponzi scheme run by Louis Tobin (Len Cariou), a Bernie Madoff-type. Patty believes Tobin has hidden the money and that members of his family, specifically his loyal son Joe (Campbell Scott) and daughter Carol, secretive wife Marilyn (Lily Tomlin), and trusted attorney and family friend Leonard Winstone (Martin Short) know much more than they claim. Tom has a personal involvement because he invested in the Tobin fund and lost his savings and those of his parents and in-laws, which makes his work on the case a conflict of interest. Ellen, meanwhile, has stayed true to her promise not to return to Patty's firm and has avoided contact for the past year that she has been working at the District Attorney's office. Ellen runs into Tom, and she mentions she is having trouble cracking a drug case. Soon afterward, Ellen's case is suddenly resolved under suspicious circumstances, and she receives a package from Hewes & Associates containing an expensive Chanel bag from Patty (the same bloodstained bag that ends up in the hands of the homeless man). Believing Hewes & Associates is more capable than the D.A. to bring about restitution for the victims, Ellen begins to secretly cooperate with Patty and Tom, and they all get drawn into the Tobin family's world of deceit.
Patty and Ellen's bond resurfaces as they work on the case together. Throughout the third season, Ellen tries to prove that she can get to and manipulate Patty, which Patty figures out through Ellen's manipulation of her replacement at Hewes & Associates: a young, ambitious lawyer named Alex.
Ellen and Patty each deal with family crises. Patty learns her son, Michael, and his girlfriend Jill, who is at least 15 years his senior, are expecting a baby. At the end of the season, Jill finds herself in custody for having sex with a minor and about to lose her freedom and custody of the baby. Toward the end of the season, it is revealed that the car that hit Patty was driven by Michael, who was enraged by Patty's having Jill arrested. Meanwhile, Ellen's sister is arrested on a drug charge. Also revealed is an old and painful secret Patty has been keeping for years, about her daughter, Julia. Through memories and dreams Patty repeatedly sees herself, highly pregnant, walking up to a ranch with horses and a man she briefly talks to. He asks what she's doing so far away from her home in her condition, and Patty replies her doctor said she'd be okay. However, the doctor actually told Patty she must stay in bed and avoid any physical activity, or else the baby will die. Following Tom's funeral, Patty indirectly admits to Ellen that she brought on a miscarriage so she could go to New York and accept an important job offer, thus beginning her climb to the top of the legal profession. Ellen then asks, "Is it worth it?" Patty does not reply, and Ellen leaves.
The fourth season opens to reveal Ellen's new job at another law firm (the same firm she was offered a position at in season one). Ending Ellen's search for a career-defining case, she begins researching and gathering witnesses for a wrongful-death suit against private military contractor Howard T. Erickson (John Goodman), who heads the "HighStar" security company. Erickson made his fortune supplying the U.S. government with security forces in Afghanistan and is protected by his connections within the highest echelons of power in Washington, D.C. During a high school reunion, Ellen enlists her old friend Chris Sánchez (Chris Messina), a HighStar employee, as her key witness. Unfortunately, the law firm Ellen works for, fearful of repercussions, rejects the case, forcing Ellen to seek the resources for case elsewhere. After Patty sees Ellen harassed by a supporter of HighStar while she and Ellen have lunch together, she offers Ellen everything necessary to file the case. As the case unfolds, Jerry Boorman (Dylan Baker), a opportunist deeply tied to Erickson and the CIA, works all angles to prevent the case from progressing, fearful that his true involvement in the wrongful-deaths will be discovered.
Once the case is clearly resolved, Ellen and Patty meet in Manhattan in a spot overlooked by the Statue of Liberty. Ellen is angry because Patty put Chris in danger to continue the case despite her protest. In response, Patty offers Ellen her hand claiming that they "can do great things together". Ellen refuses and says goodbye.
After four seasons of manipulation and deceit that cross professional and personal lines, season five sets the stage for the final showdown between Patty and Ellen. In a storyline inspired by the vicissitudes of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, Channing McClaren (Ryan Phillippe) is a computer expert and the iconoclastic founder of a website, McClarenTruth.org, devoted to government and corporate transparency. It is shown, in the premiere, that Ellen and Patty are set to go head to head in a case over the death of Ms. Walling (seen to have been attacked by two anonymous people), as Patty claims that McClaren murdered her, as well as stealing personal information and posting it on his site.
The final season opens with Patty walking into her office to see her granddaughter sitting in at her desk drawing. Patty says to her, "Get out of mommy's chair." The girl responds, "You're not my mommy." When Patty approaches the desk, Ellen appears in place of the girl, saying, "I love you, mommy." The end of the season premiere depicts Patty being questioned by the police about Ellen's disappearance. Ellen is shown in an alley, unconscious and bleeding. While this case is occurring, Michael organizes a custody case over Catherine, with Ellen agreeing to testify against Patty after the McClaren case was over. Also, in Ellen's personal life, her mother has left her father after he threw something at her and she was scared. She lived in Ellen's apartment for a while before moving into her own apartment, only to move back in with Ellen.
The McClaren case continues, with both Ellen and Patty being contacted by a hacker named of Samurai Seven. He sold information to both of them about the involvement of Princefield in Naomi's death. However, only Patty receives this information and then Samurai Seven is found dead in a burnt-out car. In court, Ellen suspects that Patty has a personal relationship with the judge, which seems to be confirmed when Patty receives a personal call from him. However, once Ellen has raised attention to this and removed the judge from the case, Patty reveals that it was all a setup, and that she and the judge disliked each other. When Ellen finds out that Patty has received the Princefield information, she tells the new judge and Patty is forced to give Ellen the information, losing her leverage on the case.
When questioning Naomi's daughter, Patty finds out that Naomi and McClaren possibly had a sexual relationship and so Patty goes to the media and accuses McClaren of rape. This results in both Ellen and Patty being given a gag order. Soon after, McClaren offers Naomi's daughter a settlement and she wants to take it. Ellen and Patty team up to give false evidence so that the settlement is rejected and the case continues. Ellen and Patty are both given a chance to ask questions of an expert in the data breach but have to travel to him. Once the interview is over, Ellen finds out that her flight is cancelled and Patty invites her onto her private flight, which has been delayed. While waiting in the airport, Ellen and Patty discuss the attempted murder of Ellen and the confession that Patty made. Patty says that the accusation was false and that the confession was a lie because she was at gunpoint.
Rutger Simon is revealed to be the one who intentionally leaked Naomi Walling's personal e-mails, hoping to implicate McClaren as the leaker so he can take control of McClarentruth.org. Simon convinces Patty Hewes to become an investor in the site when he takes over in exchange for his testimony against Channing McClaren, Helmut Torben, and Bennett Herreshoff. Patty subsequently informs Ellen of her intention to call Simon as a witness for the Plaintiff. Upon getting this information, Ellen informs Torben (McClarenTruth.org's primary benefactor) of Simon's intention to testify against Channing McClaren and the possibility of Simon implicating both him and Bennett Herreshoff as part of his testimony and suggests having Simon taken out of the picture. In a meeting with Torben and Herreshoff, Simon informs them that he intends to testify against Channing McClaren but promises not to implicate either of them in his testimony. After booking an emergency flight out of the country to Dublin, Simon is killed by hitmen hired by Herreshoff and Torben. On the day of the trial, shortly before opening arguments, Patty Hewes is informed that Simon has left the country. Because Simon was Patty's only valuable witness, she drops the lawsuit. Later, Patty suggests that she intentionally gave Ellen her witness list early to see how Ellen handled the information. Patty knew Ellen would share the information with Torben, who would have Simon killed, thus proving, in Patty's eyes, that Ellen has become as manipulative as Patty.
Attention then turns to the custody case. Ellen has the blood that was on the card she had with her the day she was attacked tested and finds out the identity of Patrick (the murderer). Ellen has her investigator track and find him. She offers Patrick immunity if he testifies against Patty. He agrees. The story has now caught up to the future shown in the premiere and Ellen is seen walking to her office through the alley. The scene then cuts to Patrick and the investigator in Ellen's office, worried that Ellen is two hours late. They call the detectives to have Patty arrested. As the two men search the roof, they discover Ellen unconscious in the alley below. As they both seem to run down to help her, only the investigator does as Patrick goes back to the office to find Michael, who has just arrived. As Ellen is being revived, a scan picture is found in her bag, revealing she is pregnant. Once awake, Ellen goes back to her office to find Michael dead, having been shot by Patrick. Patty is told about this in a mimed scene. At the end of the series finale, the final scene takes place "a few years from now" showing Patty entering a shop to find Ellen with her daughter. In her limo, Patty has a vision of Ellen coming to thank her for everything she has done. Instead, Ellen walks away, telling her daughter that she knew "that woman" back when she was a lawyer. Her daughter says Ellen is not a lawyer any more. Ellen walks with her daughter and tells her that they're going to visit her dad at the VA (the Department of Veterans Affairs) which means the child's father is Chris Sanchez. The scene ends with a closeup on Patty's face; she sits with a stoic expression on her face in silence.
|Glenn Close||Patty Hewes|
|Rose Byrne||Ellen Parsons|
|Tate Donovan||Thomas Shayes|
|Ted Danson||Arthur Frobisher|
|Noah Bean||David Connor|
|Željko Ivanek||Ray Fiske|
|Anastasia Griffith||Katie Connor|
|William Hurt||Daniel Purcell|
|Marcia Gay Harden||Claire Maddox|
|Timothy Olyphant||Wes Krulik|
|Martin Short||Leonard Winstone|
|Campbell Scott||Joseph Tobin|
|John Goodman||Howard Erickson|
|Dylan Baker||Jerry Boorman|
|Ryan Phillippe||Channing McClaren|
The series details the mentor-protegee relationship between high-stakes attorney Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and newly graduated attorney Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). During the first three seasons Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan) acts as Patty's associate, right-hand man and later partner. Michael Nouri stars in the first two seasons as Patty's husband Phil Grey, and makes periodic guest appearances in subsequent seasons due to their characters' separation. Zachary Booth's character recurs throughout the series as Patty's damaged son, Michael Hewes.
The first season mainly focused on a case involving Arthur Frobisher, played by Ted Danson, a man blamed for embezzlement and fraud; Željko Ivanek played his regretful attorney Ray Fiske. Noah Bean starred as David Connor, Ellen's fiancé, with Anastasia Griffith recurring prominently as Katie Connor, David's sister and the key witness in the Frobisher case (at the end of the first season Bean and Ivanek leave the main cast with the death of their characters, but still serve as occasional guest stars with their characters appearing in flashbacks). Notable recurring characters during the first season were played by Peter Facinelli, Philip Bosco, and Peter Riegert.
The second season found Patty and her firm inadvertently thrown into a massive case against the billion dollar-worth energy corporation Ultima National Resources (UNR). William Hurt played Daniel Purcell, a mysterious man from Patty's past who initiates the case and puts it in Patty's hands. John Doman played Walter Kendrick (in a billed recurring role), the primary antagonist of the season as the CEO of UNR, while Marcia Gay Harden joined the cast as UNR's misinformed but smart and vicious lead counsel Claire Maddox. On the personal front, Anastasia Griffith returned as Ellen's friend Katie Connor, who helps her in taking down Frobisher, while Timothy Olyphant played a man in grief counseling who bonds with Ellen under ambiguous motives. Returning recurring actors in prominent roles were Ted Danson, David Costabile, Tom Aldredge, Mario van Peebles and Glenn Kessler. Notable recurring characters during the second season were played by Clarke Peters, Brett Cullen, Kevin Corrigan and Darrell Hammond.
The third season, inspired by the Bernie Madoff scandal, tracked Patty's aggressive pursuit of bringing down the disgraced Tobin family after they were revealed to be a part of a Ponzi scheme that ripped off millions of citizens. Campbell Scott played Joe Tobin, the shamed but ultimately spoiled and selfish youngest son of the family. Martin Short played the family's longtime trusted lawyer Leonard Winstone who finds his place in this family changes as the Tobins reveal their true colors. Lily Tomlin special guest starred throughout the season as the secretive matriarch Marilyn Tobin, while Len Cariou appeared as the patriarch of the family blamed for all of the fraud and conspiracy. Returning recurring actors in prominent roles were Ted Danson, and also Timothy Olyphant in a single guest appearance. Notable recurring characters during the third season were played by Dominic Chianese, Mädchen Amick, Ben Shenkman, and Keith Carradine. Wallace Shawn also made a notable guest appearance.
The fourth season, the first without Tate Donovan, followed a wrongful-death suit filed against a military contractor over a mysterious incident in a war zone. John Goodman played Howard Erickson, the CEO of the shadowy military contractor who becomes the defendant against Patty and Ellen over the corruption that occurred in the war zone. Dylan Baker played Jerry Boorman, a mysterious figure with secretive ties to the Middle East. Chris Messina played Chris Sanchez, an old high school friend of Ellen's and a decorated soldier suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Notable recurring characters during the fourth season were played by Derek Webster, Griffin Dunne, Judd Hirsch, Fisher Stevens, and Bailey Chase.
The fifth and final season pitted Patty and Ellen against one another in court, with the case surrounding the suit of the founder of a WikiLeaks type of website, Channing McClaren, played by Ryan Phillippe. Jenna Elfman played Naomi Walling, the investment bank employee whose daughter Rachel (Alexandra Socha) sues McClaren after he releases Naomi's personal information along with the financial records she leaked to him - leading to Naomi's suicide (in reality, she was murdered and the suicide faked). Janet McTeer played Kate Franklin, an old colleague of Patty Hewes who teams up with Ellen. John Hannah played Rutger Simon, the gatekeeper of McClaren's website who is devoted to exposing fraud and corporate misconduct. Returning recurring actors in prominent roles were Judd Hirsch and Chris Messina. Notable recurring characters during the fifth season were played by Victor Garber, M. Emmet Walsh, William Sadler, Gbenga Akinnagbe and Gillian Alexy.
The first season of Damages received generally positive reviews from critics with the series ranking in the top ten lists of several critics, who include Robert Abele (LA Weekly), Robert Lloyd (The Los Angeles Times), and Alessandra Stanley (The New York Times). TV Guide ranked the season one finale (episode #52) on its list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time".
Season 2 was met with further critical praise, along with season 3, which Verne Gay (from Newsday) rated A+ and termed it, "Gorgeously acted, written, paced, structured and conceived, it remains one of the best shows on TV--and maybe the most enjoyably addictive." When the series returned for its fourth season in July 2011, after it was saved by DirecTV, Maureen Ryan (of The Huffington Post) reacted positively said "Damages knows what it's about these days. And if you want to see some prime, grade-A acting, well, you could do a lot worse". TV Guide's Matt Roush praised the series and stated that "Damages is worth it. And for those without access to DirecTV, worth the wait."
Damages won four Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, a Casting Society of America Award, and a Satellite Award. Additionally, the series was nominated for a Producers Guild of America Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Television Critics Association Awards, among others.
For its first season, Damages was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards, along with six other nominations. Co-creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman were nominated for writing and Allen Coulter for directing the pilot episode ("Get Me a Lawyer"). Glenn Close received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, with co-stars Ted Danson and Željko Ivanek nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Close and Ivanek won in their respective categories, with the series also receiving a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. The series earned four nominations at the 65th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Television Series – Drama, Close for Best Actress, and Rose Byrne and Ted Danson for their supporting roles. Close won the award in her category.
For its second season, Damages was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy nominations at the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards, with Glenn Close receiving her second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Ted Danson also received another nomination, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Rose Byrne earned her first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and William Hurt was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. It was also nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Todd A. Kessler for "Trust Me") and received its second and final nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. On September 20, 2009, the show won its fourth Emmy Award when Glenn Close won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The series earned three nominations at the 67th Golden Globe Awards, including Close for Best Actress, and Byrne and William Hurt for their supporting roles.
For its third season, Damages earned its most acting nominations at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards. Along with Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, and Ted Danson returning in their respective categories, featured cast additions Martin Short and Lily Tomlin as newly nominated actors. Short was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and Tomlin was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. For the first time, Damages was unable to win a major Primetime Emmy despite their success in the nominations, as Glenn Close lost for the first time in her category, losing to Kyra Sedgwick.
For its fourth season, Damages earned a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for Dylan Baker as Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series, a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Glenn Close for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and a fourth consecutive Emmy nomination for Glenn Close, in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.
For its fifth and final season, Glenn Close received her third Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, after being absent the previous two years.
The series premiere on July 24, 2007 drew 3.7 million viewers, with total of 5.1 million viewers including re-airing on the same night, becoming the most watched cable television program for the night. However, the viewership declined over the first season, partially due the story's serialized approach, with the season finale drawing 1.4 million viewers. Regardless of its critical acclaim, Damages seriously suffered in its second season ratings. Season Two premiered with only 1.7 million viewers watching, even with the momentum that was built following its Golden Globe and Emmy wins. Despite the show's low ratings, FX picked up and secured the program for a third season. John Landgraf hoped the show would continue on the air following its third season; after taking into account the encore presentations and "extraordinary" DVR numbers, the ratings appeared to be quite good.
Due to the low ratings and high costs, it was speculated early that Season 3 might be the show's last. However, Sony reached an agreement with DirecTV to share the cost of future seasons with its Audience Network (formerly The 101 Network and originally Freeview). Other outlets were also approached about sharing the cost of a new season. However, no other network opted to pick it up, leaving Audience Network the new broadcaster. The New York Times reported that FX continued to hold a small stake in the show and that "[T]series offers a way for the Audience Network to define itself as a provider of niche entertainment for an educated, upper-middle-class demographic, an experiment it started by picking up the football drama Friday Night Lights from NBC." Glenn Close said she always thought the show was "kind of a tricky fit for FX," further stating, "I think FX was defined by The Shield, which was a testosterone-laden show, and they continue to be a testosterone-laden network. I think we were kind of off-brand for them." Damages made its first premiere on DirecTV on January 5, 2011. Seasons one through three ran until the season 4 premiere on July 13, 2011.
All five seasons have been released on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, while only the first season was originally released on Blu-ray. Mill Creek Entertainment will release the complete series on Blu-ray on February 19, 2019.
|13||January 29, 2008||April 14, 2008||December 19, 2007||
|13||January 19, 2010||August 31, 2009||November 23, 2009||
|13||July 12, 2011||October 18, 2010||October 27, 2010||
|10||June 26, 2012||July 16, 2012||September 5, 2012||
Fifth and Final Season
|10||July 16, 2013||July 15, 2013||August 8, 2013||
|59||October 29, 2013||N/A||N/A||
Damages are the money paid or awarded to a claimant in a civil action.
Damages may also refer to:
Damages (TV series), a legal drama
Damages (Jewish law), a range of jurisprudential topics that roughly correspond in secular law to torts
Nezikin or Damages, the fourth Order of the MishnaDamages (season 1)
The first season of the FX legal drama series Damages premiered on July 24, 2007 and concluded on October 23, 2007. It consisted of thirteen episodes. Damages was created by brothers Todd and Glenn Kessler along with Daniel Zelman, each of whom served as executive producers and contributed seven scripts for the season, including the premiere and the finale.
Most of the season follows two different timelines. The primary timeline begins with Ellen Parsons' (Rose Byrne) recruitment by Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) to "Hewes & Associates" and follows proceedings of a class action lawsuit against Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) by his former employees, whom Patty represents. The initial episodes follow Patty's attempts to capture potential witness Gregory Malina (Peter Facinelli) through Katie Connor (Anastasia Griffith). The arc further details Malina's involvement with Frobisher's lawyer Ray Fiske (Željko Ivanek) and the pressure Patty brings to bear on Fiske on Malina's subsequent death.
The narrative includes multiple flashforwards of the other timeline, set approximately six months after Ellen's appointment, until both timelines converge in the penultimate episode of the season. The alternative timeline details the attack on Ellen, her arrest for the murder of her fiancé David Connor (Noah Bean), and the subsequent murder investigation.Damages (season 2)
The second season of the FX legal drama series Damages premiered on January 7, 2009 and concluded on April 1, 2009. It consisted of thirteen episodes, bringing the series total to 26. Damages was created by brothers Todd and Glenn Kessler along with Daniel Zelman, each of whom served as executive producers and contributed seven scripts for the season, including the premiere and the finale.
The second season, like the first, follows two different timelines. The primary timeline follows Patty, Ellen, and Tom as the firm goes up against an energy company who have engaged in unethical practices. A former lover of Patty's, Daniel Purcell (William Hurt), brings the matter to her attention, but then inexplicably backs out, leaving Patty up against UNR CEO Walter Kendrick (John Doman) and his fierce lawyer Claire Maddox (Marcia Gay Harden). Meanwhile, Ellen works with the FBI to bring down Patty, while also seeking revenge on Arthur Frobisher for his presumed role in her fiance's death. Ellen is unaware that Patty is suspicious of her, and that Frobisher's criminal connections appear to extend to her new friend Wes (Timothy Olyphant).
A second timeline takes place six months later, when Ellen meets with an unknown person in a hotel room, and subsequently appears to shoot them.Damages (season 3)
The third season of the FX legal drama series Damages premiered on January 25, 2010 and concluded on April 19, 2010. It consisted of 13 episodes, bringing the series total to 39. Damages was created by brothers Todd and Glenn Kessler, along with Daniel Zelman, each of whom served as executive producer and contributed four scripts for the season, including the premiere and the finale.
The season picks up one year after the events of season two. Louis Tobin, patriarch of the famously wealthy Tobin family, has just confessed to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in Wall Street history; the U.S. Government has assigned Patty Hewes and Tom Shayes to find the Tobins' hidden money, and uncover any evidence that other Tobin family members (namely Louis' eldest child Joe and long-time attorney Leonard Winstone) had prior knowledge of the fraud. Ellen Parsons has taken a job at the District Attorney's office but, as the story unfolds, she finds herself being pulled further and further back into Patty's orbit. Tom, meanwhile, learns that he unwittingly invested with Louis Tobin and has lost 70% of his net worth and both his parents' and in-laws' savings. He struggles to keep his personal issues from interfering with the case and with keeping this secret from Patty.
Though the season earned mostly positive reviews from television critics, it continued to struggle in the ratings; soon after the season finale, FX announced it had canceled Damages due to low ratings. However, the series was eventually picked up by DirecTV for two additions seasons, which began airing the fourth season on July 13, 2011.Damages (season 4)
The fourth season of the legal drama series Damages premiered on the Audience Network, an entertainment channel owned by DirecTV, on July 13, 2011 and concluded on September 14, 2011. The season featured 10 episodes, bringing the series total to 49. The fourth season was released on DVD in region 1 on June 26, 2012.The fourth season takes place three years after the Tobin case. Ellen has moved on with her life. Now an attorney working for another NYC firm, she's content with her cases and colleagues. Deep down, however, she wants a bigger challenge. When she discovers an old high-school boyfriend has been through a traumatic experience while working for High Star, a private security firm hired by the U.S. government to carry out special missions in Afghanistan, she suspects foul play and asks Patty for help. Patty knows that trying a case against High Star can make Ellen's career. Or ruin it. The plot was inspired by recent events and controversies surrounding Blackwater Security Consulting.Damages (season 5)
The fifth and final season of the legal drama series Damages premiered July 11, 2012 on the DirecTV owned Audience Network concluding on September 12, 2012. The season has 10 episodes, making a series total of 59 episodes. The fifth season was released on DVD in region 1 on July 16, 2013.Daniel Zelman
Daniel Luke Zelman (born June 16, 1967) is an American actor, screenwriter, television producer, and director.Ellen Parsons
Ellen Parsons is a fictional character on the American legal thriller series Damages. The character was created by the writer trio of Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman.
Ellen's transformation from ambitious, idealistic and somewhat naïve law school graduate to a sophisticated, ruthless attorney is one of the main themes of the show. The mentor-protegee relationship between her and Patty Hewes shapes and advances the character throughout the show. After working for Patty, being an informant for the FBI, and joining the public attorney's office, she finally opens her own law firm and builds a name for herself.
In the series finale, Ellen gives up being a lawyer after learning that she is pregnant and becomes a happy wife and mother. Patty enters a shop where Ellen and her daughter are happily looking at goodies. Ellen sees Patty but ignores her. We see Ellen and her child leaving the store and talking about going to see "daddy" who we assume is Chris. Back in her car, Patty fantasizes that Ellen approaches the car and through the window thanks her for all she's done for her. Patty pulls herself back to reality and is last seen contemplating her life...successful, yet entirely alone.
The character was widely praised, as well as Byrne's portrayal. Byrne was nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2009 and 2010, and twice for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film in 2008 and 2010.Get Me a Lawyer
"Get Me a Lawyer" (also known as "Pilot") is the pilot episode of the legal drama series Damages, which first aired on July 24, 2007 on FX in the United States. It was written by series creators/executive producers Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman, and was directed by producer Allen Coulter. In the episode, recent law school graduate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) is recruited to Hewes and Associates, a law firm headed by Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), where she is assigned to the "Frobisher case". Billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) is being sued by his former employees, whom he advised to invest in his company while unloading his own stock, and while Frobisher's attorney Ray Fiske (Željko Ivanek) pleads for a settlement price, Patty insists on taking the case to court.
When the Kesslers and Zelman devised the series, they did not specifically intend for Patty and Ellen to be lawyers, wanting primarily to explore the power structures between two strong women—Patty and her protégée Ellen—and choosing a profession afterwards. Close agreed to play Patty so long as the series was filmed in New York City, where she resides. To prepare for their roles, Close, Byrne and Tate Donovan met with corporate lawyers, while Danson met with the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The pilot was filmed in February and FX placed a 13-episode order for the series in March. Its American airing brought in 3.7 million viewers and it was reviewed positively by most critics. It received two Emmy Award nominations for writing and directing and one win for Close for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. It was also nominated for an American Cinema Editors Award.Hewes
Hewes may refer to:
PeopleJoseph Hewes (1730-1779), signer of the United States Declaration of Independence
Bettie Hewes (1921-2001), Canadian politician
David Hewes (1822-1915), US industrialist in California
George Robert Twelves Hewes (1742-1840), one of the last survivors of the American Revolution
Henry Hewes (1917–2006), Drama Critic for the Saturday Review of literature from 1954 to 1979
William Gardner Hewes, President pro tempore of the Mississippi State Senate
Patty Hewes, fictional character from Damages (TV series)ShipsUSS Joseph Hewes (AP-50), a ship acquired by the US Navy 8 January 1942 and sunk 11 November 1942
USS Joseph Hewes (FF-1078), a Knox class frigate launched 7 March 1970 and transferred to Taiwan in 1999OtherHewes Street (BMT Jamaica Line), a local station on the BMT Jamaica Line of the New York City Subway
Hewes Point, a peninsula in Maine
Rip Hewes Stadium, a 10,000-seat stadium located in Dothan, Alabama
Hewes v. M'Dowell, 1 U.S. 5 (1762), an early decision of a Pennsylvania Provincial Court,James S. Levine
James Scott Levine (born 1974) is a composer and member of Remote Control Productions. He has won seven BMI awards and seven ASCAP awards. His credits include the films Running with Scissors, Delta Farce, and The Weather Man, and the television shows Nip/Tuck, Glee, The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, and American Horror Story. He has also provided additional music for films such as Madagascar, Pearl Harbor, and Something's Gotta Give.Jonathan Freeman (cinematographer)
Jonathan Freeman, ASC is a Canadian-American cinematographer. A multi-award-winning director of photography for motion pictures, television and commercials, he is best known for his work on Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. Freeman’s motion picture credits include Remember Me, Fifty Dead Men Walking, The Edge of Love, Hollywoodland and The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.List of Damages characters
This is a list of the characters featured on Damages created by the writing and production trio of Daniel Zelman and brothers Glenn and Todd A. Kessler.List of Damages episodes
Damages, a legal drama television series, premiered in United States on July 24, 2007 on the cable network FX. The series, created and produced by brothers Todd and Glenn Kessler with Daniel Zelman, revolves around Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), senior partner in New York-based law firm Hewes and Associates, and her protégée Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). The series involves high-stakes litigation with class action lawsuits involving severe damages.
The first season of the series debuted on July 24, 2007 and consisted of thirteen episodes concluding on October 23, 2007. The second season was delayed due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and premiered on January 7, 2009. The season, again consisting of thirteen episodes, ended on April 1, 2009. The third season premiered on January 25, 2010 and aired its finale on April 19, 2010. On July 19, 2010, DirecTV announced that, after months of negotiation, Damages would be picked up for two additional seasons consisting of ten episodes each to be aired on the Audience Network beginning in 2011.Every episode title is a line of dialogue spoken by a character in the episode.List of awards and nominations received by Damages
Damages is an American legal thriller television series created by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman and produced by KZK Productions, Sony Pictures Television, FX Productions, Bluebush Productions and Gotham Music Placement. The series chronicles the relationship between Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), a high powered attorney, and her protégée Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) as well as the major case they take on each season. Damages aired on FX from July 24, 2007 to September 12, 2012, broadcasting 59 episodes over five seasons during its initial run.
During the series' run, Damages received nominations for a variety of different awards, including 20 Emmy awards (with 4 wins), eight Golden Globe Awards (with one win), four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and 4 TCA Awards. Glenn Close, for her portrayal of Patty Hewes, received the most individual awards and nominations, winning 2 Emmy awards, a Golden Globe award and a Satellite award.Mario Van Peebles
Mario Van Peebles (born January 15, 1957) is an American film director and actor best known for directing New Jack City in 1991. He is the son of actor and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, whom he portrayed in the 2003 biopic Baadasssss!, which he also co-wrote and directed.Patty Hewes
Patricia "Patty" C. Hewes is a fictional character on the American legal thriller Damages, portrayed by Glenn Close. Being described as "ruthless", "master manipulator" and "brilliant", Patty is a high-stakes litigator managing her own law firm called Hewes & Associates. Conceived as a "woman who commands power and influence in a male-dominated world" the character and its portrayal by Close has garnered significant praise.Serving as the show's protagonist, Patty's and Ellen's mentor-protégée relationship is the focal point of the show. Starting as ordinary associates and eventually progressing to a mother-daughter like relationship. Patty's behavior towards her opponents (most notably Arthur Frobisher), clients and her estranged relations with her son Michael are recurring storylines that are frequently explored.
Since the show's pilot episode Patty's character and Close's performance are subjects of frequent praise. One example is Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle who wrote that "it's Close who makes Damages a series to contend with" and called her "compelling". Close's portrayal earned her numerous awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and one Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama among others.There's Only One Way to Try a Case
"There's Only One Way to Try a Case" is the first episode of the fourth season of the DirecTV legal drama series Damages and the show's fortieth episode overall. It was written by creators and executive producers Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman and directed by Todd A. Kessler. It originally premiered in the United States on DirecTV's Audience Network on July 13, 2011, and was the first episode of the series to air on DirecTV after the series moved from the FX network.Todd A. Kessler
Todd A. Kessler (born 1972) is an American screenwriter, playwright, television producer and director.